COHR featured highlights: Coherent, Leucadia National, Louisiana-Pacific, Applied Materials and Seagate Technology

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - March 07, 2017 - Stocks in this week's article include Coherent Inc. (NASDAQ: COHR - Free Report ), Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE: LUK - Free Report ), Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX - Free Report ), Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT - Free Report ) and Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX - Free Report ).

Screen of the Week of Zacks Investment Research:

Stocks Near 52-Week Highs to Buy Right Away

Movement of stocks toward their 52-week high or low are closely tracked on a daily basis. It hardly seems rational to invest in stocks which are already about to scale to the highest point. To make the gamble worthwhile, it is imperative to consider the 52-week high criteria in conjunction with other parameters to ensure that the stock does not reverse the direction of movement anytime soon.

This is where our screener comes into play as it helps you to set the correct parameters with the 52-week high criteria that will compound portfolio returns. It will further eliminate the risks associated with ad-hoc techniques that can lead to pitfalls.

One of the relatively new entries in the investing rulebook, the 52-week investment strategy, is helping a wide group of investors rake in handsome profits. Borrowing from the basics of Momentum investing, this technique bets on the catchphrase "buy high and sell higher." These investors have mastered the art of finding stocks that have strong upside potential and are still undervalued.

A Peek in to 52-Week High Stocks

Stocks near 52-week highs often instill the presumptive "adjustment and anchoring bias" in the minds of investors. This principle works on the belief that investors use the 52-week high price as a reference point and value stocks against this anchor.

Many a times such stocks are prevented from scaling higher despite robust potential due to the psychological bias of investors who fear that the stocks are overvalued and a price crash is impending.

A few of the stocks remain undervalued due to prolonged under reaction on part of investors, despite bullish growth drivers. Meanwhile, news pertaining to robust sales, surging profit levels, bullish earnings prospects and strategic acquisitions can drive the stock higher.

However, when a string of positive developments start dominating the market, investors find their under-reaction unwarranted and the renewed interest might drive stocks beyond the 52-week high bar. Wall Street's fast paced trading makes it imperative for investors to step in before the market gets a whiff of it.

Also, recent academic research reveals that if a stock's current price is near its 52-week high, there are high chances that it will outperform peers in the subsequent period. According to researchers George and Hwang, holding 52-week high stocks for six months has resulted in an average monthly gain of 0.45% between 1963 and 2001. Encouragingly, this is twice the gain that can be garnered from similar momentum-based strategies.

Setting the Right Filters

Our diligent screening technique has been deployed to find 52-week high stocks that hold tremendous potential compared to their respective industries. The added parameters are strong earnings growth expectations, sturdy value metrics and positive price momentum.

These stocks are relatively undervalued compared to their peers, in terms of earnings as well as sales, which make us believe that they will continue their rally for quite some time.

Current Price/52 Week High >= .80

This simply is the ratio between the current price and the highest price at which the stock has traded in the past 52 weeks. A value greater than 0.8 implies that the stock is trading within 20% of its 52-week high range and is likely to touch the 52-week high mark soon.

% Change Price - 4 Weeks > 0

It ensures that the stock price has moved north over the past four weeks.

% Change Price - 12 Weeks > 0

This metric guarantees a continued upward price momentum for the stock over the past three months as well.


The lower, the better.

P/E using F(1) Estimate

This metric measures the amount an investor puts into a company to obtain one dollar of earnings. It narrows down the list of stocks to those that are undervalued compared to their peers.

One-Year EPS Growth F(1)/F(0) >= XIndMed

This helps choose stocks that have higher growth rates than the industry median. This is a meaningful indicator as decent earnings growth adds to investor optimism.

Zacks Rank = 1

No screening is complete without our proven Zacks Rank, which has proved its worth since inception. It is a fundamental truth that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) have always managed to brave adversities and beat the market. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Current Price >= 5

This parameter will help screen stocks which are trading at $5 or higher.

Volume - 20 days (shares) >= 100000

Inclusion of this metric ensures that there is a substantial volume of shares that can be traded easily.

Here are five of the 13 stocks that made it through the screen:

Coherent Inc. (NASDAQ: COHR - Free Report ) designs, manufactures and supplies electro-optical systems, and medical instruments utilizing laser, precision optic and microelectronic technologies. The company beat estimates in all of the trailing four quarters, at an average of 10.0%.

Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE: LUK - Free Report ) is a diversified financial services holding company focusing on personal and commercial lines of property and casualty insurance, life insurance, banking and lending and manufacturing. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 179.0% over the trailing four quarters.

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX - Free Report ) : Headquartered in Nashville, TN, the company together with its subsidiaries is engaged in the manufacturing and selling of building products primarily for use in new home construction, repair and remodeling, outdoor structures, light industrial and commercial construction. Louisiana-Pacific registered an impressive positive earnings surprise of 55% for the last four quarters.

Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT - Free Report ) is engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment and related spare parts for the semiconductor industry. The company has an average positive surprise of 4.5% over the trailing four quarters.

Headquartered at Dublin, Ireland, Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX - Free Report ) is the second largest manufacturer of hard disk drives (HDDs) in the U.S. The company also develops other electronic data storage products such as SSD (solid state drive) and solid state hybrid drives (SSHD). Seagate has a positive earnings surprise of 3.3%, beating estimates thrice over the trailing four quarters.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.

The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your trial to the Research Wizard today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today .

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Coherent, Inc. (COHR): Free Stock Analysis Report

Leucadia National Corporation (LUK): Free Stock Analysis Report

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LPX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Seagate Technology PLC (STX): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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